Governments worldwide are challenged with the task of
reducing greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming. The Netherlands
Environmental Assessment Agency analyzes and makes recommendations for Dutch and
international policy for environmental sustainability.
researchers issued a proposal involving a dietary change that would also reduce
the cost of mitigating global warming. Department Director Dr. Joop Oude Lohuis
said in a phone interview that this study was one of a growing number being
conducted in Europe.Dr. Joop Oude Lohuis – Department Director,
Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (M):
We are now at the
point that science has more and better numbers on the effect of changing our
diet and eating less meat. So there is more consensus on that side if you look
at the total picture of the chain. It did lead to several heavy discussions in
Germany, in the Netherlands, some in Belgium and in the UK.
Netherlands study, entitled “Climate Benefits of Changing Diet,” analyzed the
entire chain of animal-raising activities from field to fork. It calculated the
monetary cost of halting climate change, which was defined as stabilizing
atmospheric CO2 at the level of 450 parts per million.
The report concluded
that US$20 trillion, or 50 percent of a total US$40 trillion estimated cost,
could be saved from the global shift to a low-meat diet.
happen in the case of a vegetarian or vegan diet?Dr. Joop Oude
If you would go for a completely meatless diet in the next
10-15 years, then in the year 2050 you would have a 70% reduction of attaining
the climate goals That is a substantial cost reduction in getting to the same
VOICE: Going even further, the researchers found that a
completely vegan diet with no animal products would save an enormous 80% by
2050. What’s more, another benefit was discovered. Because plant-based diets
produce much more food for humans than meat and dairy-based diets, some of the
land not used to grow livestock could be turned back into carbon-absorbing
forests, which are known to help reduce CO2 emissions.Dr. Joop
Oude Lohuis (M):
We assumed that the grasslands that were not used by
cattle anymore would go back to their natural state. For that reason, several
parts of the world will grow forests and retain carbon in terms of more
VOICE: Dr. Oude Lohuis said the trend toward plant-based
alternatives to meat has already gained momentum as consumers learn about meat’s
harm to health and the environment. Dr. Joop Oude Lohuis
If you look around in shops, maybe two years ago there were four,
five, or six alternatives in terms of soy products or alternatives for a piece
of meat. And now it has quadrupled; maybe there are 20 or 25.It’s a very easy
way to change your buying behavior and have a fantastic quality of your meal. It
saves lives as well.
VOICE: We thank Dr. Joop Oude Lohuis and the
Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency for demonstrating to us the
tremendous power of a plant-based diet in reducing both financial costs and our
carbon footprint. May we all quickly make this free and immediately beneficial
choice to save lives and our planet.
LinksClimate benefits of changing diet
July 2008, during a videoconference with our Association members in the United
States, Supreme Master Ching Hai once more encouraged the worldwide trend toward
Supreme Master Ching Hai:All those positive changes do
indicate the higher level of consciousness as the world population become more
aware of the ephemeral nature of life and how fragile the planet can be and
realizing their lifestyle habits should be changed. So now they begin to treat
the environment with respect.
They begin to have more vegetarian choice.
It’s good to see.
All that change is good. And if we hasten this
process, there will be Heaven on Earth. I hope we can make it. Just change to
vegetarian diet. How easier can it
Assessment Agency Full Report